The white house that sits adjacent to the Richter Park Golf Course on Aunt Hack Road in Danbury isn’t part of the golf course and it’s not some sort of private club. Rather, it is the home of the Richter Association for the Arts.
“A lot of people think this arts center is some sort of private club. But it’s for you and for me. Everyone is welcome,” explained Elizabeth Bontempi, Richter Association for the Arts board member. “It’s a community asset, by which we present cultural programs on Sundays in the spring and fall to the entire Danbury community.”
In operation for over 45 years, the Association hosts a variety of programs including art shows, music and dance performances and lectures. The Association hosts these 1-hour performances at 3pm on Sundays, followed by a social hour, where you can enjoy refreshments and have the opportunity to talk directly with the performers. It is all presented to the community free of charge. All they ask for is a voluntary contribution.
On Sunday, Oct. 9, in celebration of Spanish History Month, the Richter Association for the Arts is welcoming Dr. Donald Alfano for a concert of Spanish music. Dr. Alfano is a pianist, teacher, lecturer and author from the New Haven area. He currently teaches Music History and Appreciation, Popular Music in America and Latin and Caribbean Music at Housatonic Community College. He also operates a private independent piano studio and serves as a church organist for St. Joseph’s Church in New Haven.
His piano recital will include commentary on Spanish and Latin American piano music from 1738 to 1965. Well-known and more obscure composers will be represented, such as Mateo Albéniz, Domenico Scarlatti, Enrique Granados, Federico Mompou, Isaac Albéniz, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Ernesto Lecuona, Alberto Ginastera and Manuel de Falla.
Elizabeth commented that the Association seeks out the talent, but often, many artists and musicians come to them. In fact, Dr. Alfano attended a performance at Richter as a guest, and once he saw the 40-year old piano in the performance room, Elizabeth said he enthusiastically asked the board, “Can I just please play that piano?” They happily signed him up.
Programs like this come together through the tireless efforts of the all-volunteer board. Elizabeth said the board members do it out of passion; they truly love bringing quality art and culture programing to the community. “There’s a great spirit,” she added. All the programs are supported by voluntary donations at events, membership dues, corporate and individual sponsorships and grants from the Danbury Cultural Commission. The privileges of becoming a member include reduced rates on art show entries and the newsletter. “Still, you don’t have to be a member to come,” emphasized Elizabeth.
In addition to the performance by Dr. Alfano on Oct. 9, the association is also having its annual juried art show. On Sunday, Oct. 16, there will be an interactive poetry program, featuring poet Charlie Chase, and on Sunday, Oct. 23, Chris Coulter and the Blue River Jazz Band will perform American favorites from the early part of the 20th century. All performances start at 3pm, followed by refreshments. Admission is free. Parking is available in the golf course lot with handicap parking in front of the house located at 100 Aunt Hack Road in Danbury.
For more information about Richter Association for the Arts and its programs, visit www.danbury.org/richter.